Enabling meta-analysis in systematic reviews on carpal tunnel syndrome

Annette A.M. Gerritsen*, Henrica C.W. De Vet, Rob J.P.M. Scholten, Maurits W. Van Tulder, Lex M. Bouter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Possible solutions to the problems of clinical heterogeneity of outcome measures and inadequate reporting of results for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) are presented. Meta-analysis was impeded by these problems in 2 systematic reviews concerning conservative and surgical treatment options for CTS. A solution to the problem of inadequate data presentation is to add explicit information on minimal requirements with regard to data presentation to guidelines for the reporting of studies. To resolve the problem of clinical heterogeneity of the outcomes there should be consensus on the (validated) outcomes that should be used in RCTs. For CTS there is little evidence available on the reliability, validity, and responsiveness to change of the commonly used outcomes in RCTs. Resolving both problems will increase the comparability of RCTs, enabling the calculation of a pooled estimate of effect in a meta-analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)828-832
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002

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